I spotted a large dragonfly Tuesday evening and yesterday had time to photograph it. For a long while it flitted about the garden, moving quickly away as I approached, until finally relenting, it selected an unattractive backdrop for perching. I still couldn’t get close enough for a good image, but the picture was clear enough to help with identification. (I googled to come up with a suggested ID, and had it confirmed this morning through iNaturalist, a fun and helpful tool for verifying garden visitors.)
As often is the case when I discover an unknown creature in my garden, my discovery yesterday proved to be an insect common across the Piedmont of North Carolina where I live as well as across the entire state and much of the US: Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa).
It doesn’t have to be rare to be interesting though. Good to know there will always be lots to learn about in this world and when the time is right, connections can be made.
NICE! I noticed several of these while working in a pasture last week here in mid-Missouri. My ID search came up with the same conclusion as yours. I believe it said this color is for the juvenile. GREAT PHOTO!
Yes, apparently the mature males have white patches on the wings. Couldn’t find how to distinguish females.
All I saw were juveniles. They loose the gold color I guess and the females lack the white patch. I guess we will know when we see them in person. 🙂 We can take photos to get better ID if they sit still long enough. 🙂 I saw the one I photographed while at a friends farm but I have not seen them on my farm.
What an interesting insect! Its lower wings made me think of dark sunglasses.
That’s what I thought too Kris!
Yes, you can always learn something new. I’m glad there is more help out there via the internet.
Nice catch. I haven’t seen any dragonflies in my garden yet this year.
Hope the dragonflies visit Jason. Haven’t seen this one around any more. Sometimes you just happen to be in the right spot at the right time.